Sunday, 10 March 2013

SWP Conference: Times up. Time to Quit!

News is beginning to emerge about the outcome of the Socialist Workers Party "special conference" that was held in Hammersmith today. No real surprise, but some points of interest that will no doubt be expanded upon both here and across the Internet in the days to come.

It seems that the Central Committee were able to hold the line with 400 to 140 votes on most issues. There were some undecided delegates at the conference who ended up with the opposition. A number of the more "inactive" members appointed at aggregates to support the Professor did not attend according to one twitter report.

The main problem for any "oppositionists in the SWP is that they are now being told "defend the line or go" according to one tweet from @izaacson who ends with "Have to accept votes at conference or go. so must go". How many will join her will not be clear for a few days, but with even the likes of Richard Seymour writing on Face book simply "Disgust, nausea, contempt, rage" suggests that there will be many.

Another activist quoted on The Red Needle blog wrote:

"If it's the case that socialist organisations get the leaderships they deserve, then I don't know what that says for the SWP and the majority of delegates to today's Special "Conference". 

"Another organisation retreating into the abyss of the sect, all the time dressing up their contemptible behaviour in the language of Proletarian Virtue. Well guess what? Working class people aren't interested in rape apologists, bureaucrats, petty bullies, middle class wanna-be's and tin-pot dictators. 

"Time to start again..."

Having now seen some further details of a case referred to in Nick Cohens article in the Guardian on Saturday, which it is said are shortly to be made public, there is no future for anyone with any sense of decency to remain in the SWP.

I'll end with a couple of excerpts from someone who attended the Conference of a special kind which has appeared on the Weekly Worker website:

Speakers, crass or not, repeatedly defended the view that the blog was the problem, that Richard and China are behind it and that nothing would be better than for them to be expelled. One of the most lauded interventions enjoined those who might be unhappy after today to leave. When some if us heckled a speaker for claiming that the blog was a Sino-seymorese conspiracy, we had to hear other delegates invite us to "join them outside", effectively as though they had already been expelled. The best by way of an example of such claims was given by Alex. Apparently it was only after the blog mentioned that the DC had ruled on 9 cases involving rape allegation that Nick Cohen decided to contact Pat for confirmation. It didn't seem to matter that Pat was able to deny this and that yesterday's piece was based on a new case, with no relation to blog material. The point was made that the worst thing about this crisis was, by far and away, the blog.

The problem is not the numbers, comrades, but the party's deeply entrenched culture of obedience to a (less and less) "charismatic" leadership. 

For those of you reading the temperature before deciding what to do next, it's cold, very cold. As we argued, between February and now, it was make or break. Personally, I think time's up, and it's break.

Quite. Save yourselves, the SWP is finished. Kaput. Over.

1 comment:

  1. If only Howard. Perhaps if we had less of the trotskyists in our trade unions, we'd have less of this happening: